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James A. Morrissey, Washington Correspondent

Hayes Seeks To Expand Buy America Law

By James A. Morrissey, Washington Correspondent

Robin Hayes, R-N.C., has introduced legislation that will require the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) to procure items directly related to security from domestic manufacturers. Under the so-called Berry Amendment, the Department of Defense (DOD) and the Coast Guard already are required to do so to the extent domestic manufacturers can meet their needs.

In introducing the new measure, Hayes said: “Expanding our ‘Buy America’ rules to DHS is a matter of matter of national security. Currently, the Berry Amendment seeks to guarantee the United States military has a ready mobilization base of US manufacturers — a critical national security requirement. I believe it is imperative that we expand this requirement to include the Department of Homeland Security for the same reasons.”

For years, Hayes, along with other textile state representatives and senators, has been instrumental in getting the DOD “Buy America” provisions through Congress, something that has been of considerable benefit to domestic textile and apparel manufacturers.

March 14, 2006